ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume II-5
28 May 2014
 | 28 May 2014

Can 3D Point Clouds Replace GCPs?

G. Stavropoulou, G. Tzovla, and A. Georgopoulos

Keywords: Orthophotography, Close-range Photogrammetry, 3D point clouds, Single image resection, Cultural Heritage

Abstract. Over the past decade, large-scale photogrammetric products have been extensively used for the geometric documentation of cultural heritage monuments, as they combine metric information with the qualities of an image document. Additionally, the rising technology of terrestrial laser scanning has enabled the easier and faster production of accurate digital surface models (DSM), which have in turn contributed to the documentation of heavily textured monuments. However, due to the required accuracy of control points, the photogrammetric methods are always applied in combination with surveying measurements and hence are dependent on them. Along this line of thought, this paper explores the possibility of limiting the surveying measurements and the field work necessary for the production of large-scale photogrammetric products and proposes an alternative method on the basis of which the necessary control points instead of being measured with surveying procedures are chosen from a dense and accurate point cloud. Using this point cloud also as a surface model, the only field work necessary is the scanning of the object and image acquisition, which need not be subject to strict planning. To evaluate the proposed method an algorithm and the complementary interface were produced that allow the parallel manipulation of 3D point clouds and images and through which single image procedures take place. The paper concludes by presenting the results of a case study in the ancient temple of Hephaestus in Athens and by providing a set of guidelines for implementing effectively the method.